Chateau de la Pommeraye

Calvados, Normandy, France Book from

Recommended awaiting i-escape review
Luxury, beauty and history in Calvados country, along with easy-going hosts whose attention to detail is a joy
In a bucolic corner of Normandy, an hour from D-Day beaches and great gardens, is a symmetrical pink-ochre mansion with grey shutters, a perfect petit chateau. Flanked by huge old barns with swallows nesting, it faces a lawned cour d’honneur traced with topiary and a rectangular moat you can row on. Beyond are dreamy hills. Owners Alexandre and Karine left the buzz of Paris for the country, and their enthusiasm for the house and its history is infectious. Choose a book from the library, laze on a chaise longue in the garden, settle in by the log fire as evening draws in.

Art, music, birdsong, laughter: La Pommeraye is a feast for the senses. Chat to your young hosts in the salon over a glass of delicious local wine. Their welcome is generous and warm. Later, wind up a fabulously restored staircase to floors of polished parquet, bountiful beds and scrumptious linen. The décor is elegant, original, classical: Louis XVI furniture, Delacroix watercolours. We're yet to visit but previous guests report that one night here will restore your karma. Spend your days making the most of rocky, watery, deserves-to-be-better-known ‘Suisse Normande’. Climb, cycle, ride or take a small boat trip on the river Orne. Watch the paragliers drift down the Clécy valley, set off in search of Calvados and cider. Or stroll 300m to the local spa for a massage.


  • Gorgeousness inside and out, from the light-flooded atrium above the Italianate stairwell to dreamy vistas and topiared yews
  • Just 6 sumptuous bedrooms, all full of beautiful antiques plus bathrooms to wallow in
  • A genuine welcome for all ages, including children
  • The experience of staying in a traditional chateau, complete with spacious grounds, a lake, and a moat you can row on


  • No on-site restaurant, thoug Alexandre and Karine are happy to make local recommendations and reservations
  • You'll need a car to get here and to explore the region
  • A 15-minute drive to civilisation (shops and restaurants in Clécy)
  • Breakfast isn't included in the overnight rate and there are no tea/coffee making facilities in bedrooms (there are some in the salon, however)
  • No lift - but stairs are wide and easy

Best time to go

Normandy is a year-round destination. The summer months are particularly good thanks to village festivals, fairs and horse racing, although the hotspots such as Honfleur can get crowded. In the early autumn foodies will find fresh scallops, the apple harvest ongoing and trees full of colour. It's relatively quiet in the winter months, when you can relax by a blazing fire and gaze on dreamy hills. The hotel is closed annually from December - March.

Our top tips

Alexandre and Karine are a fount of knowledge about the area, the food, the history, the culture and the adventurous activities. You won’t find wine - Normandy’s last attempts were strangled by the vine disease phylloxera - so it returned to what it does best: cider (but there are plenty of good merchants who sell excellent wines from elsewhere if you want to stock up).

Great for...

  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 6
  • Breakfast on request, restaurants a drive away
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Chambre des Levants


The sumptuous bedrooms are reached via a decorative metal-bannistered landing running around an Italianate ‘well’. Suites are the grandest, with private salons and dressing rooms. Chambres are cosier. All have original polished floorboards and superb reproductions of drawings, engravings, oil paintings and portraits. Six feather pillows top regal beds, linen is white and organic, and mattresses, we are told, are divine.

The big handsome Chambre des Fragrances is decorated in the style of Napoleon III in creams, puttys and blacks, and has views that swoop over the Orangery gardens to a medieval ruin on a far hill. How romantic is that? Larger still is Suite des Blancs (not ‘blanc’ but muted reds and moody purples), furnished in Empire style, with 2-toned grey painted panelling and a dressing room with a majestic antique mirror. Great windows overlook the gardens, the chapel and, to the front, the inner courtyard. This room can also be booked as a Chambre, without the dressing and sitting room.

Most magnificent of all is Suite des Rubans decorated in gentle 19th-century Gustavian tones, scattered with Louis XVI-style furniture, antique porcelain wash basins, an exquisite Persian carpet, and 8 luminous windows with more views. A seductive suite for a family of 4.

On the second floor is the intimate Suite des Pensées, decorated in Directoire style with a hint of theatre in pictures and accessories, and a bedspread embroidered with exquisite pastel flowers - excitingly reached via a small wood-panelled anteroom with a ‘secret’ door. Chambre des Esquisses is on a cosier scale and decorated in late 19th-century ‘orientaliste’ style. Tall table lamps add a glow to a palette of white, cream, grey and moss green. As for the bathroom, intricately tiled in Andalucian style, it is as huge and as fabulous as all the rest, with metre-wide bath tubs, snowy bathrobes and classy toiletries. Chambre des Levants is the smallest room and completes the set on the second floor.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fireplace
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


The breakfasts are an event in themselves. Delicious pastries and warm breads are accompanied by runny honey and local jams, with fruit juices and fragrant hot coffee on hand to refresh and revive. White linen, as stiff as a wimple, adds to the sense of occasion.

Note that there are no tea- or coffee-making facilities in the bedrooms, but they are on offer in the main salon downstairs.

For lunch or dinner, there are numerous restaurants a short drive away, and your hosts are more than happy to make recommendations and book tables for you. Normandy food is famously rich. If you want to do the local thing, try a 'Trou Normand' - a shot of Calvados taken with apple ice cream to clear the palate between courses. Other local appley delights include pear liqueur, pear and apple ciders and Benedictine, taken post-meal as a digestif. Other goodies in the Norman basket include pungent cheeses and fresh oysters. Most local towns have weekly markets from which you can easily put together a spectacular picnic.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Minibar/fridge


  • The whole area is very beautiful, very green, especially around Clécy, where you can take a small boat trip on the river Orne, and a picnic on the Sugar Loaf mountain from which paragliders drift down to the valley below. Gorges, cliffs and plenty of water make ‘Swiss Normandy’ a mecca for hikers and bikers, climbers and canoers, riders and fishermen
  • Recover in the spa 300m from the hotel (closed Weds and Sunday), at the end of a tree-lined avenue
  • Practise your rowing skills on the chateau moat, spot rare birds in the historic grounds, and wander to the private lake
  • Find culture in Caen - at the Musée des Beaux Arts, the Musée-Château de Guillaume le Conquérant, the Abbaye aux Hommes, the Abbaye aux Dames, and innumerable churches
  • Bayeux and its tapestry (40km) is a must, a tranquil city of stone streets and mercifully tat-free shops, and a huge food market on Saturday mornings: stock up on cheeses and ciders. Beautiful little Clécy has a weekly country market too, in July and August
  • Head to the coast for the famous D-Day beaches, reminders of Normandy’s not-so-distant past: Honfleur, Trouville and Deauville. In the first week of June, Bayeux stages a D-Day commemoration week
  • Tour orchards and drink Calvados in pretty villages - this area of Normandy has its own cider route
  • Walk around the beautiful gardens and manor houses of the area: Pontécoulant, Falaise, St Gabriel de Brécy, Mézidon Canon, Colombières, Balleroy, Fontaine Henry, Vendeuvre, Carrouges…

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cider tasting
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Paragliding
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Rock climbing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Tennis
  • Well being


Not an obvious destination for families, but the owners have a young child themselves, and children who stay are made very welcome. There are extra beds and baby cots to borrow.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Chambres can fit 1 baby cot or 1 rollaway bed; the Suites can fit 2 baby cots or rollaway beds. Suite des Blancs and Suite des Rubans can inter-connect.

Kid Friendly:

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